MORE thank £13k of illegal tobacco has been seized from Southampton shops following a crack-down on crime

Southampton City Council’s Trading Standards service were out with sniffer dog Scamp searching for illegal tobacco being sold by shops in the city, as part of a campaign to eliminate this illicit trade.  

A number of retailers were targeted and illegal tobacco products worth over £13,000. 

It is understood that the haul contained fake tobacco products, which can be a bigger hazard to health as it can contain dangerous chemicals and dust.

A Trading Standards officer said: “We have some retailers in Southampton who choose to sell illegal tobacco products and this is a crime. 

"We will continue to target those businesses which sell these unlawful products." 

The retailers targeted have not yet been identified by the Council. 

Councillor Dave Shields, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, said: "While illegal tobacco can be as little as a third of the price of the genuine product, it comes at a cost of supporting criminals. 

"Not only do these criminals contribute a fraction of what they owe towards taxes, but they alone benefit from what the tax that you pay provides them."

Councillor Lorna Fielker, Cabinet Member for Health and Adults, added: "Counterfeit tobacco is not only illegal, but can be more hazardous to your health, as there is no control over the quality of the contents. 

"Fake tobacco products have been found to contain dangerous chemicals, dust, excessively high tar levels and asbestos."

To report illicit tobacco visit or call the Stop Illegal Tobacco Hotline 0300 999 6999.